Message from Mary Southcott, Coordinator of Friends of Cyprus
15th May 2009
"A Cyprus Settlement: This Year, Next Year … Never?"Copies of The Friends of Cyprus Report can be obtained by contacting the Coordinator, by email, firstname.lastname@example.org and letting her have your postal address. Friends of Cyprus welcomes comments, responses, ideas for future work.
The latest Friends of Cyprus Report No 52 Summer 2009 is being distributed in Cyprus and the UK and posted to various other parts of the world, Turkey, the European Union and the United States, after the Turkish Cypriot elections, the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the Apostolides v Orams case, and the continued high-level talks between Cypriot leaders, Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat.
This edition, entitled "This Year, Next Year …… Never?" draws attention to the dynamic of the next twelve months, perhaps “drinking in the last chance tavern”, which includes Turkey’s EU accession negotiations, which a Cyprus settlement would definitely enable, and the Turkish Cypriot leadership elections by April 2010. It contains not only the Editorial, A People’s Peace for Cyprus, with tables from the CEPs Report, new ideas about Cyprus’ Treaty of Guarantee and further Friends of Cyprus ideas on Governance and Power-Sharing with a guide to Cross Voting. We have tried to show, particularly drawing on the testing of public opinion, A People’s Peace in Cyprus, that there is significant overlap in terms of what Cypriots can accept. We also draw on ideas which come from cooperation between Cypriots in this country, Cypriots 4 Cyprus, as well as in Cyprus, working together in the field of education and social psychology. The Report covers the Turkish Cypriot elections and some assessment of the way forward from the result, by Birikim Ozgur, with a tribute to Mustafa Akinci whose work in Cyprus politics has been followed by the Friends since he and Lellos Demetriades were the respective leaders of their communities in Nicosia. There is a Timeline on the Talks and Confidence Building Measures, including a call of the opening of the Limnitis crossing point, a look at the forthcoming European elections and the press release from the European Court of Justice on the Apostolides v Orams case, a fresh view from Obama’s America, a Turkish Cypriot view on Varosha and the new AKEL leader, Andros Kyprianou, on Cyprus belonging to its people.
The Report illustrates what Friends of Cyprus delegation, led by Lord Corbett of Castlevale, with David Burrowes MP, Andrew Dismore MP, Lord Dubs, Baroness Harris, Mary Honeyball MEP, Andy Love MP and Charles Tannock MEP found in their late November 2008 visit to the island, specifically drawing on Andrew Dismore’s report back to the House of Commons, and emphasises the successes they discovered. Particularly it highlights the work of representatives of the international community, demining, the survival of Cypriot Maronites, and the visit to the Committee on Missing Persons and the exemplary process that has involved identification of remains and return to the families in both communities.
Much energy is going into the Cyprus Peace process. Not only the continuing meetings between the two Cypriot leaders, Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat, which the United Nations wants to speed up now that the Turkish Cypriot elections on 19 April are over according to Alexander Downer, the UN Advisor to the UN Secretary General. The UK Government, Caroline Flint, as Minister for Europe, and the diplomatic effort of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is going into supporting the Talks for a Cyprus settlement in Cyprus, with work in Cyprus, the Cypriot Diaspora and with the other Guarantor Powers. And Cypriots themselves are publishing books, writing articles, organising conferences, meeting together for the future of their island.
Copies of The Friends of Cyprus Report can be obtained by contacting the Coordinator, by email, email@example.com and letting her have your postal address. Friends of Cyprus welcomes comments, responses, ideas for future work.